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11-20-10, 09:39 AM #1
Marine Corps to Deploy M1A1 Tanks to Afghanistan
Posted : Saturday Nov 20, 2010 9:32:15 EST
The Marine Corps will soon deploy tanks against the Taliban, a first for U.S. forces in the nine-year war in Afghanistan.
A company of M1A1 tanks — about 15 vehicles — will deploy in mid-December and be employed in Helmand province by early spring, said Maj. Gabrielle Chapin, a Marine spokeswoman in Afghanistan. They will provide Marine forces with heavy 120mm cannon fire, but also advanced optics that can be used to observe Taliban fighters from more than four miles away as they plant improvised explosive devices.
“Tanks provide us with a deadly accurate weapon system that can be used very effectively against the enemy even as he tries to use the Afghan people as a shield,” said Maj. Gen. Richard Mills, commander of Marine forces in Afghanistan, in a Nov. 19 statement. “The superior optics provided by the tanks give us one more tool to take away the night from the enemy. He can’t use the darkness to lay his IEDs that cause so many casualties among our forces and the civilian population.”
Tanks are “hardly a weapon of desperation,” and will help Marine forces interdict the flow of drugs south out of Helmand province into Pakistan and the flow of fighter, supplies and weapons as they move north, Mills said.
Marine officials would not say which company will deploy, but Bravo Company, 2nd Tank Battalion, out of Camp Lejeune, N.C., went through Enhanced Mojave Viper pre-deployment training in the spring at Twentynine Palms, Calif., and hasn’t deployed. It was not clear whether they had been selected.
U.S. forces have not previously used tanks in Afghanistan, but the Corps asked for permission to use tanks last December and was denied, according to the Washington Post. Gen. David Petraeus, who took over as the top commander in Afghanistan this summer, approved a more recent Marine request for them in October.
Tanks have been used effectively in counterinsurgency environments before. The Corps integrated tanks into infantry patrols in Iraq, providing the ability to blow holes in compound walls and long-range surveillance to grunts on the ground.
The Post reported that the tanks will likely be used initially in northern Helmand, where Marines have seen intense fighting recently in Sangin and Kajaki. Marine officials would not comment on where they will go, but left open the possibility that they could be used throughout the province, especially in desert areas where Mine Resistant Ambush Protected vehicles and MRAP all-terrain vehicles cannot go.
“While there are several key population areas along the Helmand river, the surrounding areas are vast, open and rugged deserts,” said Chapin, the Marine spokeswoman. “Insurgents forces have to use these areas as ratlines for moving fighters, weapons, money and drugs into and out of key population centers,” Chapin said. “The tracked capability of the tanks will allow for a swift mobile force that can close off escape routes, deter, disrupt or pursue insurgent forces in terrain that might otherwise be unmanageable by our wheeled MRAPs or M-ATVs.”
Each tank weighs about 68 tons, but travels up to 30 mph over rough terrain or 40mph on roads.
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All Marine, All The Time...
11-20-10, 01:37 PM #2
Get it done boys!
11-20-10, 03:14 PM #3
11-21-10, 12:42 AM #4
So now, after 9 years, it looks like there's some "heavy hitting equipment" going in to try to "interdict" the likely major source (my emphasis) of insurgency forces, funding and weapons supplies.
Any ideas of the amount of illegal drug production that may be affected by such interdiction given that some sources suggest that 80% of the world's supply comes from there? It'll be interesting to see what the results are.
11-21-10, 01:51 AM #5
Them heroin addicts are sure to be hurting soon enough once them M1's hit the deck and start droppin' bodies 4 miles out. God wish I could be there, f@ck my time has passed! Only thing to do now is to keep honoring those who came after me. Get em' all Marines, kill everything, expect the dog. I like dogs.
11-21-10, 07:51 AM #6
Kicking azz and taking names, Go Marines, Semper Fidelis.
11-21-10, 01:03 PM #7
Bringing in tanks just makes me wonder if we're simply repeating history. The similarities are just a little uncanny.
11-21-10, 02:51 PM #8
11-21-10, 04:39 PM #9
11-22-10, 06:33 PM #10
What might or could or would take out an Abrahms?
My guess is, depleted uranium ordinance might do a number (since apparently a well-placed RPG can basically ONLY disable an M1A1, and then only by damaging a tread).
So I looked up how many countries had depleted uranium ordinance in their inventory and was surprised to find that 18 countries are listed.
Is there any question that the drug-trade money could allow the terrorists to buy any of that depleted uranium weaponry?
And of those 18 countries, how many of them love the US? Just wondering.
11-22-10, 06:39 PM #11
If they shoot half as good as the US Army did in Germany during the Canadian Army Trophy, then it's gonna be tougher for those who would oppose Marines.
11-24-10, 09:05 AM #12
And they could fire canister shot shells (if 120mm) to devastating effect -- good revenge for their use of IEDs.
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